The joy of motherhood is unparalleled and with great pain comes big scars too! C-section deliveries have become very popular in recent times but the scars it leaves behind can be bothersome for many. C-section scars can ruin your overall look, however there are plenty of options available to help you overcome this travesty.
What Does A C-Section Scar Look Like?
C-section scars are from an incision made either below or near the belly button to help remove the fetus (baby) with ease. There are two types of C-section scars: Horizontal and Vertical incision. Horizontal incisions also called transverse incision are made above the pubic hairline, near the bladder. They’re usually very small, between 4-6 inches long and can hardly be noticed. The second type of incision called the vertical incision is made in very rare cases and the scar is far more noticeable. The vertical incision runs in the middle of the abdomen (from the belly button to the pubic bone) and can vary between 4-6 inches. Also, the scar will be red in color, but this will diminish with time.
Types Of C-Section Scars
Most often, C-section scars heal without leaving a noticeable scar. But if the body goes into overdrive, then there can be a problem with scarring. This occurs mostly on women below 30 and on those who have darker skin. Generally, there are 2 types of c section scars –
- Keloid scars – A raised, bumpy scar that extends beyond the area of the original incision or wound. There are lumps of scar tissues around the incision.
- Hypertrophic scars – Again, hypertrophic scars are raised but they are thicker and firmer – like a keloid scar. But, a hypertrophic scar will remain within the boundary of the original incision line and do not extend outside it.
C-Section Scar Adhesions
There are three ways in which a doctor will close a C-section incision. All the methods use dissolve stitches –
- Staples – A unique stapler with metal staples is used to stitch the incision. It is very popular and quick to perform. There are many who experience wound complication with this method.
- Stitches – A rational method, doctor will sew the incision together with a needle and thread, this is time consuming and but there are few to none complications post-surgery.
- Glue – Not considered the safest option, but surgical glue has become the favorite in the recent times. The glue is transparent and leaves less visible scars. Glue is used depending on few important things such as what type of incision was made, the thickness and consistency of abdominal fat and how well the C-section surgery was performed.
Also Read: Chemical Peels For Pimple And Acne Scars
Do C-Section Scars Go Away?
Despite popular claims, C-section scars do not fully heal or fade away. The best result will leave your scar flat with a faint silver/white line, hardly noticeable at first glance. Visit a dermatologist and see what options are available for you personally – of course without disturbing the wound. Do not attempt anything that may cause internal pain or affect the symptoms of scars.
Are There Cosmetic Fixes For C-Section Scars?
Yes, absolutely. There are plenty of non-invasive and surgical cosmetic treatments that can get rid of new and old C-section scars. However, do not hope that these treatments will remove the scar completely-some traces will remain but the scar will be less visible.
C-Section Scar Treatment
- Radio frequency – One of the latest treatment for c section scars, where non-ablative and safe radio frequency is used to stimulate collagen and lymphatic flow under the skin. It works by tissue retraction that heats the dermal collagen and makes way for new collagen cells. This helps in removing the c section scars and brings new skin from beneath.
- Other treatments – Besides Laser therapy, there are few more options to choose from, depending on your scar.
- Steroid injection – Mainly used on aggressive scars (large keloid scars) Steroids helps to reduce the inflammation, size and color of the scar. It can be used even during the incision time to reduce post scarring. You can also ask for the injection immediately post C-section surgery.
- Scar revision – The doctor will simply remove the scar tissues and the skin around the scar with precision and then suture the new wound, leaving a less visible scar. This type of treatment is performed 6 months after C-section surgery. It works very well on keloid and hypertrophic scars.
- Tummy tuck – Now if you have loose skin on your abdomen region along with a C-section scar, then tummy tuck will be worth considering. The surgeon will cut the extra fat and skin which will also include the scar and carefully stitch the incision. Not the best option for those who have a small C-section scar as the tummy tuck scar will be longer.
Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Pimple Scars On Nose?
How To Prevent Keloid Scar After C-Section?
The average time it takes for the C-section incision to heal is 2 weeks. But the scar and the complete healing process can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months. There are however few tips and tricks you can try to quicken the healing process and ensure the scarring is minimal –
- Silicone products – Research shows that silicone sheets, creams and gels can soften the scar tissue and flatten the raised appearance. Ask your dermatologist for such products especially if you are prone to hypertrophic and keloid scars.
- Little to none sun exposure – Exposing the scar to sunlight will increase melanin production and thereby give your scar darker and more prominent look. Stay away from direct sunlight for at least a year post-surgery and apply liberal amounts of sunscreen if you plan on exposing that area of your body.
FAQs On C Section Scar
How Big Is A C-Section Scar?
Surprisingly, the c section incision is quite small. The baby’s head is capable of fitting through a 4-6 inch incision. The abdominal muscles are moved for the incision to be made without injuring any internal organs.
Why Does My C Section Scar Still Hurt After Years?
Unfortunately, C-section scars can still pain and cause discomfort even after several years. If your scar continues to hurt, there might be nerve damage. Massage the scar regularly for 5-10 minutes as that can help with nerve damage and increase the healing process.
Embryo Implantation In C Section Scar
Considered a high risk surgery, embryo implantation through a C-section scar is possible. It is a rarest form of ectopic pregnancy and can become a life-threatening condition. Maternal complications and uterine rupture can occur through this procedure.
Hysterectomy Through C Section Scar
Many women have opted for a Cesarean hysterectomy, which involves the removal of uterus during the same procedure as a C-section delivery. This is usually performed when the placenta cannot separate itself from the uterus walls or if the mother is experiencing heavy post-delivery bleeding from the placenta.
Is It Normal For My C-section Scar To Itch?
It is perfectly normal for a C-section scar to itch as it is part of the healing process. However, please do not scratch it as it can cause an infection. If the desire to itch is strong, then try holding something tightly against the scar as that can help reduce the itchy feeling.
Sometimes the itching can also be caused by the pubic hair growing prior to the C-section surgery. If the itchiness continues even after your pubic hair grows back, then it may simply be from healing.
Why Does My C-Section Scar Feel Numb?
Most women experience numbness after C-section. This “numb” sensation will continue for a year or two till the quality of healing improves. Massages are helpful and can remove any discomfort or pain and help settle the misplaced tissues back.
Don’t let you’re C-section scars ruin your looks. There are plenty of options available for treating the scars caused by C-section surgery. Enjoy your new phase of life without worrying about the unsightly scars!